Easy berthing is no longer the reserve of twin-engine boats.
Sixteen years after Volvo made headlines with their IPS joystick control, this easy berthing concept has trickled down at last to the single-sterndrive boat. Similarly to the joystick control found on larger multi-engine-installation vessels, easy single-hand control is simply a case of pressing the Docking button on the base of the joystick control. Then you have all the features of steering, gear control, bow thruster and throttle with just one hand.
If you are unfamiliar with joysticks, it is a case of simply twisting the boat’s joystick in the direction you want the boat to turn, instead of having to consider traditional factors like drive direction, gear choice and the amount of power. Pushing the joystick forward, aft, or to port or starboard will move the boat in that direction, just as maintaining twisting pressure will rotate the craft. Just like its counterpart, multiple-engine joystick systems, conventional engine control and steering is immediately resumed once you re-engage the throttle/gear control. In keeping with Volvo’s technology in this area is the option to marry joystick control with Volvo Penta’s Glass Cockpit system, which then integrates Volvo’s autopilot, enabling everything to be controlled with one joystick. This feature holds the boat’s speed and heading at the press of a button. The boat’s steering is then controlled easily through the fingertip control of the joystick. Volvo offer this joystick for new single Volvo Penta sterndrive DPI installations, or as a retrofit for existing Volvo Penta single DPI installations. Volvo claim they will also soon introduce this option for boats without bow thrusters, which will be interesting to see, all things considered.